Last updated December 2021.
FSANZ has prepared Proposal P1057 – Review of the kava standard and declared it urgent.
This review supports a Federal Government pilot program that will allow commercial importation of kava into Australia to build stronger cultural and economic ties with Pacific Island nations.
Kava beverage has a long history of consumption in the South Pacific and plays an important role in traditional community ceremonies.
In its review, FSANZ aims to clarify the existing permissions for kava in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) to:
- limit the preparation and consumption of kava beverages to traditional use, and
- ensure that food additives and processing aids may not be added to dried or raw kava root or kava beverages.
FSANZ recently called for public comment on its Initial Consideration Report (see consultation documents below). The public consultation period closed on 23 December 2021. We will consider all feedback received through this submission process as part of our initial consideration of Proposal P1057.
We expect to complete the urgent part of the review in the first quarter of 2022.
Call for submissions - now closed
Initial Consideration Report (pdf 962 kb)(word 142 kb)
Supporting document 1 - Risk and technical assessment (pdf 1.13 mb)(word 478 kb)
Admin assessment report
Administrative Assessment - 6 December 2021(pdf 87.7 kb) (word 62.1 kb)
Declaration of urgency(pdf 61.4 kb)
Standard 2.6.3 of the Code provides permissions for the sale of kava The original intent of Standard 2.6.3 was to limit the use of kava to the traditionally prepared beverage consumed by sub-populations familiar with its occasional and ceremonial use, not to promote broader consumption.
The Code prohibits kava or any substance derived from kava being sold as a food or an ingredient or component of a food unless specifically permitted by Standard 2.6.3. Permitted kava products:
- a beverage obtained by the aqueous suspension of kava root using cold water only, and not using any organic solvent, or
- dried or raw kava root.
Warning statements are also required: 'use in moderation' and 'may cause drowsiness'. More information on labelling is available here.
Kava is also regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as an ingredient for certain scheduled medicines.